The wanderlust has kicked in

We had a free day in my Advanced Fiction workshop yesterday, where we’d finished the first round of critiques and hadn’t started the second set yet; usually I’d do writing exercises on a day like that, but I ended up doing something new — taking a class to talk about creative nonfiction.

So many of the techniques they’re learning and practicing now apply equally well to CNF, so it seemed worth walking them through some of the options, from food writing for magazines, to travel writing subsidized by PR companies for hotels, to longer form journalism, and of course, memoir, etc and so on.

I ran through many of my favorite memoirs, covering topics like medical writing (Complications, Being Mortal), class (Maid), body image (Hunger, Heavy), and of course food (Kitchen Confidential, Give a Girl a Knife, so many more), and travel (Video Nights in Kathmandu, Wild). Also recommended Charles Baxter’s The Business of Memory.

Hopefully some of them will take a stab at some of these, and maybe they’ll even be able to do what I never quite managed — getting paid to travel the world and write about it. Wouldn’t that be splendid?

I’m fifty-two now, and a 4:45 a.m. wake-up to catch a flight after three hours of sleep is a little painful for me now — I feel as blurry as the plane in that first pic. It would’ve been easier being a travel writer at 20, I’m pretty sure!

Blurry yet beautiful too — the wanderlust has kicked in, and it’s been more than two months since I went anywhere. My mind has snapped into focus and is chanting, “Go, go, go!”

All right then. Time to board.

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